Volvo 240 Odometer Repair


     UPDATED: May 18, 2017      CONTACT       SHIPPING         VIEW CART
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This Page is in TWO Sections
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Resources and Repair Parts
Section 1:  1981-85 240
Section 2:  1986-93 240
What about 1975-80 240?
Regarding early 240 models (1975-80), you may use these same gears as fitted to the 1981-85 240.
 

INTRODUCTION
Broken odometers in Volvo 240s are pretty common.  Luckily, for most of us, there are now easy fixes for little nuisances like this.  And there are even a few good webpages covering such repairs. 

So... why did I go to all trouble of writing this page then?
  A couple reasons...  When I experienced a problem with the odometer in my '84 242 Turbo, I found it to be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from any repair I've seen before (resulting in no new parts needed).
Then I started getting emails from people who found my repair page, often after they bought and tried to install a new gear from an on-line seller.  A LOT of people were getting badly confused by the two very different installation methods between cable-driven and electronic speedometers and the lack of guidance they were finding on-line.  And I found that lots of 240 owners have no clue if their speedometer is mechanical (cable-driven) or electronic.  And they were frustrated by less than accurate advice they were getting from people who sold odometer gears, but couldn't offer much support about Volvos.  So I put together some detailed instructions below on BOTH types of repairs for 240s.
If you can help with better methods than I have illustrated below, please email me.
Thank you, Dave

>>> For VOLVO 700/900 Model ODOMETER REPAIR <<<
(CLICK HERE)


OTHER RESOURCES FOR REPAIRS, PARTS AND INFO
Replacement Speedo Needles: Yamahapro on the Turbobricks forum supplies hard to find used speedometer needles for 240 speedos. This is good news in case you break one.  He will also be supplying good used odometer reset buttons (1384775), since those get broken often enough too.  He may be contacted through Turbobricks or directly at chaseryan13 [at] gmail [dot] com.
Cleanflametrap.com/speedo: Here you'll find some good diagnostic notes for later 240 electric speedometers.  Also: cleanflametrap.com/speedo5/
Wagonmeister.com offers repair services for any 240 instrument cluster for those 240 owners who would rather not do the work themselves. Located in Southern California.
Jack Ashcraft (Medford, Oregon) offer high-quality reconditioning of VDO cable driven speedometers for Volvo, Saab, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, VW and more. Phone: 541-499-0246, Email:  jacksonashcraft [at] gmail [dot] com
Overseas Speedometer: Overseas Speedometer in Austin, Texas offers repairs for electric and cable speedometers. Many makes including Volvo.  They can also repair most 240 clocks for a moderate fee.


Section 1: General Odometer Surgery & Repair
1981-1985 240 CABLE-DRIVEN (mechanical) Speedometers
Also corresponds to 1975-80 240/260 models
 (NOT for 1986 and later electronic speedometers. This is further down)


Authorized Dealer  -  OdometerGears.com

I offer the following gears for sale.

New Nylon Gear: $22.00 each - 11, 14, 16 or 18 tooth -  for 240 Mechanical Speedo (please verify your tooth count). This replaces your broken "outside gear" as shown in the above instructions.

At this time I keep on hand the 11, 14, 16 and 18 tooth gears, since these are the most common. A 14 tooth is the most common so far in the USA (most 1981-85 240s). The 11 tooth is very common in European cars and has been found in Canadian 240s.  The 18 tooth is most often found in 1975-80 models.  I can also get any other gear you need if you can wait a few extra days. If you find a gear in your 240/260 other than an 11, 14, 16 or 18 tooth, please let me know. If other gears are commonly found, I will begin stocking more tooth counts.
(Tooth counts available are: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 25, 29)


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New "Lead" Gear - "1/8 inch" (actual thickness is about 4.5 mm). This is the thinnest and most common size.

At this time I only stock the 1/8 inch "lead" gear, since it is the most common by far. I can get any gear if you can wait a few extra days. If you find a lead gear other than the 1/8 inch size in your 240, please let me know.  If other gears are needed by customers, I will begin stocking more sizes.
(Three sizes exist: 1/8 inch/4.5 mm,  3/16 inch/5.4 mm,  and 1/4 inch/ 6.3 mm)



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1981-1985 240 CABLE-DRIVEN (mechanical) Speedo Instructions

For these instructions below, I will not go into detail about removing the 240 instrument cluster from the dash.  For detailed instructions on that part, you may refer to my 240 gauge face installation instructions at http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/240faceinstall81-93.pdf. 

For a less detailed printable PDF version of these instructions below, click here:
www.davebarton.com/pdf/240odo-repair-cable.pdf (450 kb)

Here's the back of your typical '81-'85 240 instrument cluster. 
<<< Locate and remove the 7 Phillips head screws around the outer edge (noted by the white arrows)
<<< Also remove the two slotted screws on the back of speedometer (noted by two red arrows).

<<< Some speedometers have these additional electronic connections.
If yours does, then remove the smaller slotted screws shown.


CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Lift out the circuit board. 
<<< Here's what you now have before you. 
After lifting out the board, the speedometer remains in the box. 
Carefully remove it and have a look if you've never seen one up close before.  Take a couple pics and impress your friends.

<<< If your cluster has a tach, you'll see this little item.
Don't lose it. 
It often falls out if you turn the box over.  How about you just don't tip it over?

Speedometer Needle Removal (Locking the Speed Cup):
On the 1981-85 240, the speedo needle needs to be removed. This is a delicate operation.
<<< Here is the back side of your speedo.  Look for two rectangular slotted holes (indicated by the screwdriver).

<<< Insert a small slotted screwdriver (like the one shown) into one of the holes.
This will lock the speed cup and mechanism inside the speedometer so the needle shaft cannot move. 

<<< After gently lifting the needle over the ZERO stop pin, release it and take note of its resting position.  When re-installing, this is the position you want the needle to be in.

To remove the needle,
grip the center plastic hub of the speedo needle and turn it counter-clockwise (toward the "MPH").  Be careful not to put pressure on the thin orange needle pointer.  It can snap off in a generally unpleasant way if you do. 

Since the internal mechanism inside the speedometer was already locked by you, you will be turning and
forcing the needle counter-clockwise until you feel it come loose and get easier to turn.  Now you may turn it back and forth, while at the same time gently pulling it toward you.  It'll come off in your hand without any fuss. 

In the unlikely event that you break a speedometer needle, there is a supplier of these listed in the "Resources" section near the top of this page.

<<< Once the needle is off, remove the metal speedometer faceplate using a small flat screwdriver. To do this, remove the 2 tiny screws. 
Be careful if they're tight. The factory likes to put threadlocker on them.  These screws are soft metal and are easy to gouge.  Find a screwdriver that fits these small slotted screws well.


<<< Here's the naked speedometer after removing the faceplate. 
See those 3 slotted screws?  Enlarge the pic and you can see better.  Remove them.  They hold the two halves of the speedo together.
Once the screws are removed, be gentle when pulling it apart.  The parts inside are delicate, but it won't explode in a shower of parts... trust me. 
You'll see one piece (below photo) that can fall out at this point. Not to worry, just put it back like shown in the photo.

Here's the back half of the speedo. 
<<< The thing with the arrow is what I was talking about.  Just be sure to put it back before you reassemble. 




Here's the front half of the speedo, viewed from the back side. 

<<< See these two gears? In this photo one is BLUE and one is a black spiral gear.  To avoid confusion, I'll call these "outside gears" since they're on the outside of the odometer cage assembly.  Not all speedos will have that big spiral gear. It's only found in
cars with an interval engine service light in the dash. This blue plastic gear (sometimes they're a different color) is most often the culprit for a failed odometer in one of these speedos (but not always). 

I now offer replacements for this gear if you need one.  Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this section.

You'll notice in the above photo the odometer reset button is missing from the bottom of the speedo.  I removed it so it wouldn't get in my way.  It pops off quite easily.   They also tend to break after years of getting pushed and pushed.  Used ones can be found for sale sometimes.

<<< NOTE: Here's something that's a little different. This speedo is from an '84 240 Turbo in Europe. As I mentioned above, this speedo
only has ONE outside gear and no black spiral gear. This car was not equipped with an interval engine service light in the dash.  This outside gear looks to be yellow or white and has 11 teeth.  So far I have heard of this 11 tooth gear only being found in Europe and Australia.



<<< Here's a closer look at the blue gear.  Your gear may be a different color.
This gear has a tendancy to crack or become stripped on the shaft.  It might also lose teeth after years of use.  There is a long metal shaft going through these two outside gears.  In order for the odometer to function correctly, these gears need to grip the shaft... so slipping is NOT allowed. 

When I worked on my speedo, I found nothing obviously wrong with either of these outside gears.  No cracks and no missing teeth.  And they appeared to be gripping the shaft from what I could see.  This was a mystery, since my odometer clearly was not working.  So I gave up.  It's not my fault Volvo owners give up so easily.
NO! Volvo 240 owners are NOT quitters!  I hope you didn't fall for that.  Instead, I found a way to test the odometer to see where my problem was. 
As I mentioned, that blue gear could be cracked, missing teeth or just plain slipping on the shaft, although I could find no problem with it at this point.
I needed to see for certain if that gear was gripping or slipping on the shaft.  To test this, pick up the assembly and grip the wide black inside gear (like I am in the photo) and hold it so it can't turn.  Now see if you can turn the two outside gears on the end of the shaft.  Don't force them....  be gentle.  You should NOT be able to turn the two outside gears without the wide black inside gear turning also.  If you can spin the outer gears without the inside gear turning,  you know something is slipping somewhere.  It's important to find out exactly what is slipping before you pull anything apart.

If you find the blue (or whatever color) plastic outside gear is slipping, your best solution is probably to replace it. Some have been was successful in gluing them, but that was before new replacements were available.  If your outside gears seem tight on the shaft as they should be and you're still not sure what's wrong, then keep reading....


<<< See this brass collar?  It's pressed onto the shaft (opposite end from the outside gears).  This shaft goes through the odometer number wheels and through the two outside gears on the other side.  When you try to spin the outside gears (while holding the wide black inside gear steady), have a look at this collar to see if the shaft/collar is spinning along with them. 

If the shaft is NOT spinning, then one or both outside gears are loose (this is bad).  

If the shaft/collar IS spinning and it still appears the outside gears are gripping the shaft, then something else is slipping.  Don't worry. I'll cover this situation a little further below, so don't be a cheater and skip ahead.

<<< REMOVING THE OUTSIDE GEARS: If you find you need to remove the outside gears, gently pry them with a small flat screwdriver (see photo).  I don't know if it matters, but for now pay close attention to which direction they face, so you can put them back on the same way. 

<<< For those of you who don't read directions very well, here's a close up of these gears.  NOTE: The tops of these gears in the photo were facing away from the speedo body.  Maybe that will help those of you who weren't paying attention to the positions of your outside gears (assuming it really matters). 

<<< I found this blue gear to have 14 teeth and it may be typical of many U.S. 1981-85 240 Turbos like mine.  I offer new replacements for this gear in several different tooth counts if you need one.  Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this section. If you need a new gear, you should replace yours with the same tooth count to match.

If you found that one or both of your outside gears were spinning on the shaft, and the gear is not otherwise broken, you could try roughing up the shaft with some sandpaper, although I have not tried this and cannot say if it will help.  It's also possible to use a small punch or screwdriver to tap small dents around the gear center hole.  This might help close up the hole slightly.  Be careful, since beating on your gear may destroy it.  With it being so old, it might also be brittle.  You will have to decide on the risk.  Remember?  You're a decisive 240 owner!  However, if a new gear is available, I would stop screwing around and just buy a new one.

HERE'S WHAT I FOUND THAT WAS DIFFERENT WITH MY ODOMETER FAILURE:
When I tested my outside gears to see if they were gripping or spinning on the shaft, I found they were gripping quite well, but they were spinning the shaft when I turned them while I held the wide black inside gear steady. That was not the way it needed to be.  As it turned out, my outside gears were just fine.   What I discovered was that the GRAY METAL GEAR you see in this photo was slipping on the shaft.  It's an inside gear.  And it's supposed to GRIP the shaft.  Slipping is bad.

Removing this metal gear is a bit trickier.
<<< See the shaft going through the gear?  Remember how it goes through all the odometer number wheels too?  If you remove this shaft, the odometer will explode and a lot of little parts will fall out and bounce everywhere.  Not good.

I found a way.  The shaft needs to be pulled out just enough to release that metal gear.  The last thing I wanted to see was all those little number wheels falling out, or even moving in the slightest amount.  So I placed a piece of packing tape across the number wheels (see photo) to keep them snugly together.  No moving. Much, much better.

<<< Then I used a felt marker and marked both the gray metal gear and the white plastic one next to it.  I wanted the gray metal gear to go back in the exact same position, just in case it made a difference.




<<< First, remove those two outside gears. This was discussed a few steps up..
<<< Then, to slide the shaft out, use a small screwdriver to pry under this brass collar.  The collar and shaft are pressed together as one piece. Let them stay that way.  The shaft and collar should begin coming out slowly.

Work slowly. DO NOT pry the shaft out too far.
Pry the shaft out just enough so the gray metal gear is free.  Then carefully lift the gear out.  Try not to disturb the odometer number wheels.


<<< Here's the gray metal gear after I removed it from my speedometer. This one is 1/8th inch thick (4.57 mm). Take note that this gear may be found in three different thicknesses: 1/8 inch (4.57 mm), 3/16 inch (5.44 mm), and 1/4 inch (6.35 mm). The most common one so far is the 1/8 inch gear.  This gear is made of metal, with the appearance of "lead," so it is commonly called a "lead gear."  If you look very closely, the hole in the center has some very faint splines.  These were worn down on my gear, therefore it was slipping on the shaft. 

My solution to tighten up this gear on the shaft was to use a pointed tool (a punch or small screwdriver may work) and give the area around the hole a few taps to slightly deform or expand the metal and tighten the grip on the shaft.  Three taps on mine worked.  The gear went back on and was nice and tight, but after a while it began slipping again. Since new replacement gears are now available, I went back in and replaced it with a new gear. These are available below. Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this section.


<<< After you re-insert the gray metal gear, push the shaft back through and test the odometer function again before installing the outside gears.  Pay attention to the alignment of the top odometer numbers.  The first time I re-installed the gray metal gear, I found the far right number wheel was no longer aligned (see photo).  This means I allowed that number wheel to slip a little. 

I pulled the shaft back out again and realigned that odometer wheel.  Now I have a perfect odometer again. 





<<< Here's something new I discovered while repairing one of my 240s.  After re-tightening these three screws (white arrows) and after placing the speedo needle back on, I found that the speed cup mechanism was somehow jamming inside, but it would only occur when these three screws were all tight.  If I loosened these screws slightly, the needle and shaft would rotate nicely with no binding.  So it appears it is possible to over-tighten things and make the mechanism bind. Keep this in mind.  I didn't think it would be a good idea to run it with the loose screws, so my solution was three very, very thin washers placed between the two halves. Then I could tighten the three screws and it all worked perfectly. Another solution could be to use some thread-lock compound on the threads.


<<< Now re-install the face and speedo needle. When re-installing the speedo needle, make sure you gently push down evenly on the center hub of the needle. Once it is on firmly enough, if adjustment is needed, you may adjust it to its former position by using the small screwdriver trick to lock the speed cup as discussed earlier.

If you forgot to check its former position, you should know that most mechanical speedo faces will have a small mark on the edge, just below the needle.  Point it at that mark. That's where the factory sets it.

Total time, after pulling the instrument cluster out of my car, was less than an hour.  Why don't you fix yours now?

It's rare that a mechanical speedo continues to have mysterious problems after successful gear surgery, but strange things can happen to 30 year old speedometers.  The below situation was shared by Justin S.  after his odometer stopped intermittently after replacing a bad gear. 

"On looking a little closer the binding seemed to come when the inside metal "lead" gear reached the two inside teeth that turn over a new mile with the grey plastic gear on top.  I could not see any visual
defects with either gear.  It would just lightly bind when the tooth on the top grey plastic gear reached the two inside teeth on the metal "lead" gear.  I thought that I would pass this along if it helps you
at all."

"After taking a break to clear my head, I went back and spent some time observing the odometer while I spinned the gears to see if I could discern where the problem was.  After a while I figured it out."

"I noticed that the last odometer digit was slightly binding on the top grey plastic gear and the metal inside gear when it went to turn over a new mile.  Then, I checked the shaft that the outside gears are on that runs through all of the odometer numbers and out the other side.  It had quite a bit of play to where you could move it back and forth slightly.  I noticed that it needed to tighten up just a fraction to prevent the binding.  So, I pushed the outside gears down on the shaft just a tad and it tightened up the play on the shaft a fraction.  This was enough to allow the odometer to run smoothly every time it went to turn over a new mile.  I was able to put it all back together and reinstall the instrument cluster back in my car.  I went for a 20 mile test drive and the odometer ran perfectly smoothly.   I am not sure how the shaft became so loose, but maybe what I found will be helpful to you or someone else one day.  It could be that it just loosened up over time as my 240 is 28 years old and has 386,000 miles."

Authorized Dealer  -  OdometerGears.com

I offer the following gears for sale.

New Nylon Gear: $22.00 each - 11, 14, 16 or 18 tooth -  for 240 Mechanical Speedo (please verify your tooth count). This replaces your broken "outside gear" as shown in the above instructions.

At this time I keep on hand the 11, 14, 16 and 18 tooth gears, since these are the most common. A 14 tooth is the most common so far in the USA (most 1981-85 240s). The 11 tooth is very common in European cars and has been found in Canadian 240s.  The 18 tooth is most often found in 1975-80 models.  I can also get any other gear you need if you can wait a few extra days. If you find a gear in your 240/260 other than an 11, 14, 16 or 18 tooth, please let me know. If other gears are commonly found, I will begin stocking more tooth counts.
(Tooth counts available are: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 25, 29)


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New "Lead" Gear - "1/8 inch" (actual thickness is about 4.5 mm). This is the thinnest and most common size.

At this time I only stock the 1/8 inch "lead" gear, since it is the most common by far. I can get any gear if you can wait a few extra days. If you find a lead gear other than the 1/8 inch size in your 240, please let me know.  If other gears are needed by customers, I will begin stocking more sizes.
(Three sizes exist: 1/8 inch/4.5 mm,  3/16 inch/5.4 mm,  and 1/4 inch/ 6.3 mm)



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Section 2: General Odometer Surgery & Repair
1986-1993 240 ELECTRONIC Speedometers
(NOT for 1985 and older mechanical units)


Authorized Dealer  -  OdometerGears.com

I offer the following gears for sale.

New small 25 tooth gear (240 1986-91 ALL, and most 1992-93)
New small 26 tooth gear (240 some 1992-93 only)
*NOTE: CLICK HERE for for info regarding 1992-93 240.





New 15 Tooth Odometer Gear Pod for ALL 1986-93 240 Speedo

The original Volvo gear pod was made in two parts (the pod disc and 15T gear used to be separate pieces). This new pod is made as one piece which ensures a stronger part.




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Questions regarding a 25 or 26 Tooth Gear in a 1992-93 240
There are two different possible tooth count gears for the '92-'93 240. Most have a 25 tooth gear, although some have been found with a 26 tooth. So far as I know, the only way to tell for sure which one is in your '92-'93 240 is to open it up and count the teeth.  If you don't want to go to the trouble, you may just install a 25 tooth gear. It will fit ALL units. Even if it turns out to be the wrong one, everything will still work just fine, but the odometer will be off by about 3% (less than 2 mph at 60).





CUSTOMER COMMENTS:
"Before discovering your website with its expert advice and instructions to make such a repair myself, I ordered the 25T replacement gear (without the instruction DVD) from an online source from which I have frequently bought other parts.  Because of previous experience with earlier models of Volvos that I have owned, I thought I could “figure” it out with this electronic one. NOT! All proceeded very well as far removal of the instrument cluster and all that, and even the removal of the speedo module itself.  It was at that point that I started my search for instructions online and landed after a brief search on your website.  Everything from that point worked flawlessly.  I was able to make the repair without having to remove the speedo face and needle.  It took actually less than 10 minutes total time to replace the gear and reassemble the whole unit.  What a sense of accomplishment I felt after doing that.  So in less than an hour’s time, I had the whole job done with the instrument cluster reinstalled.  I credit your instructions with making that possible for me.  Thank you , thank you."  D.W., Surprise, AZ

"The 15-tooth gear pod broke 27k miles after the 25-tooth gear was replaced. Thank you, Dave, for your highly informative site. It helped me service my odometer the first time and I return to fix it again."
W.H., Columbia, SC

"The part (the gear) was waiting for me when I got home from work today.  I really wasn't expecting it so soon.  As soon as diner was finished I went out and started tearing my dashboard apart (I couldn't wait).  The gear dropped in perfectly and that was a good tip to pick out the old pieces, as there were pieces (old gear teeth) all over the larger inner gear.  I got it all wrapped up and the instrument panel is back in the dash about half an hour ago.  I took it for a test spin to see if it would work.  I drove exactly 2.5 miles, according to the now working odometer.  The last time I saw that mileage dial spin was in 2003 when I gave the car to my mother.  I got the car back in 2006 but by then the odometer wasn't working, but it finally is now.  I guess you can tell I am excited.  Thanks!"   P. K., Cherry Hill, NJ (1989 244)

1986-1993 240 ELECTRONIC Speedo Instructions
For this set of instructions, I will not go into detail on removing the 240 instrument cluster from the dash.  For detailed instructions on this part, please refer to my 240 gauge face installation instructions at http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/240faceinstall81-93.pdf. 
Or click the below YouTube video.




<<< Locate and remove the 7 Phillips head screws around the outer edge of the gauge box (white arrows). Ignore the red arrows in this photo.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE.


<<< Here's the back of the electronic speedometer in your cluster.

Remove the 4 Slotted Screws noted by the red arrows.  Lift the gauge and circuit board assembly out of the box and the speedo will easily separate from the rest of the assembly.


<<< If your cluster has a tach, you'll see this little item.
Don't lose it.  It will fall out if you turn the box over.  So don't tip it over.




<<< Here's the speedo after separating it from everything else.  Exciting, huh?
Turn it over and you'll see this thingy below....

<<< There's a small electric motor in there.  Behind that is the small plastic gear that breaks so often in '86-'93 240s. 

You will be removing these two Phillips screws soon.  But before you do that, you have a decision.  Most 240 owners are already decisive.  Let's see if YOU are.


The metal faceplate on the front of the speedo can get in the way of this operation.  This procedure can be done WITHOUT removing the speedo needle and metal faceplate, but it may be a bit harder and more tight to work in there behind that motor and circuit board.  The advantage of NOT removing the speedo needle is that it eliminates the chance of breaking it.

<<< Have a look here.  Not a lot of room, but it can be done.
Decision time now . . . .   
Customer Recommendation:  "Don't remove the needle.  Remove only the two screws holding the faceplate. Then by rotating the faceplate counter-clockwise 90 degrees, the bottom (flat part) of the plate tucks in enough to work as if it were off. With the seasonal climate changes, these cars now 25 plus years old, the speedo needle can crumble if disturbed."
Removing the faceplate screws: Use a small slotted screwdriver. It's important to use one that fits well in the slots. These screws are a soft metal (brass) and will be gouged easily if you use the wrong size tool or too much force and slip. Unscrew and remove the two small faceplate screws. 

If you have decided to remove the needle and faceplate first, this step will tell you what to do.
<<< Removing the Needle: Grip the center plastic hub of the speedo needle and turn it counter-clockwise (toward the "MPH"). 
Be careful not to put pressure on the orange needle pointer. It's brittle plastic and will snap off if you do. 

Also do do put any sideways pressure on the thin metal shaft the needle is attached to.  They have been known to snap inside the speedometer in rare cases.  If that happens, you may be looking for another speedometer.
  If this possibility worries you, then go back to the previous step. Click here to see how a customer repaired his speedo after this happened to him.

Continuing . . . .  There is an internal stop inside this speedometer that makes the needle stop are zero. You will be rotating it counter-clockwise and then carefully
forcing it past zero
The needle has a bit of glue holding it to the thin metal shaft. After you feel the glue break free, the needle will turn past zero and it will get easier to turn.  Then continue turning it counter-clockwise, while at the same time gently pulling it toward you.  It'll soon come off in your hand without any fuss. 

Removing the faceplate screws: Using a small slotted screwdriver (it's important to use one that fits well in the slots), unscrew and remove the two small faceplate screws.  These screws are a soft metal (brass) and will be gouged easily and distorted if you use the wrong size tool or too much force and slip.

<<< Remember those two Phillips screws two steps back?  Remove them if you haven't yet. 
<<< After the two Phillips screws are removed, pull back the circuit board assembly.  These photos show how it will look if the needle and faceplate are removed first. 
When you pull back this circuit board, you will find one of two different possibilities. That gray gear contraption is the GEAR POD. The smaller gear is the 25 tooth gear. The pod might stay in the speedo case or it might stay attached to the circuit board and motor (as in next photo) . . .  it doesn't matter.  Either way is good.

Noted by the red arrow: That small 25 tooth gear offset on the GEAR POD is the part that fails most often. If you look closely, the 25 tooth gear in this first photo has a tooth missing.
<<< On the back of the original GEAR POD you will see a black 15 tooth gear. Examine it for damage also. A new replacement gear pod comes as one piece with that 15 tooth gear molded into the pod. It is stronger that way. 
<<< The small gear shown here (white one) is the new 25 tooth gear that will take the place of the original 25 tooth gear that fails so often. Finding a broken tooth as shown on the old small gear (gray one) is typical of this gear failure.
<<< After removing your original GEAR POD, examine it closely.  The gear pod is also known to fail, although not quite as often as the small gear.  Usually, if the gear pod fails, you will find visible damage.  If it looks undamaged, replacing it is optional, although I have been told by experts that If you want to better ensure a working odometer for years to come, you might consider replacing the gear pod at the same time.
<<< I offer new small 25 tooth gears and new gear pods. The new gear pod is now made as one piece, which ensures a stronger part.
Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this section to find these gears for sale.




A few words of advice:
Look hard for small broken pieces.  Use compressed air if you have it to help dislodge and remove any small bits of gear that might be remaining inside.

I received an email from a late model 240 owner who replaced a broken gear and couldn't get the odometer to move more than 1/10 mile after several reassemblies.  He finally discovered that a piece of the broken gear was lodged in the works.  Here's how things went:


"It was maddening.  I agree, however, 7 times is simply a testament to my stubbornness, or so my wife would say!   By the third evolution I could remove the instrument cluster in about 60 seconds and I had the rear wheel jacked up to facilitate a test drive!"

"The giveaway was the trip 1/10 numbers would move a bit, then the upper main odometer would look like it was trying to turn, the numbers would move slightly, then it would all stop.  It was behaving like a jam was somewhere in there.  Your description of not giving up on your mechanical odometer gear troubleshoot was inspirational, I went back and re-read it after the fifth removal."

"The broken gear piece was miniscule and the only way I found it was by rotating the gear mechanism with my finger while I had the gear case cracked open.  I kept getting to one spot that had noticeable resistance but could see nothing.  I ran the tip of a tweezers in between the gear teeth and on one pass a small piece of plastic came out, and that was it."  S.D., Wake, VA


Now you may re-assemble everything.  Total time for this operation can be around an hour or less. 

STILL NOT WORKING?
IMPORTANT: READ THIS
While I have not directly experienced this myself, I was told by a speedo repair professional that on a number of occasions they had experienced a "dead" odometer after replacing a broken gear in one of these VDO electronic speedos. The speedo function worked, but the odometer just wouldn't turn.  On each of these occasions, the odometer would mysteriously start working after a period of driving . . . sometimes after an hour. Sometimes after a week.  So far, no one has been able to say precisely why this happens, but it is generally thought that there must be some sort of circuit breaker protection designed into the speedometer circuit board that finally resets after a period of time.  After I posted this information here, I began receiving identical reports from a number of customers who have installed new gears in VDO electronic speedos. So if this happens to you, you might give it some time and see if it comes back to life. If you have a similar experience, feel free to write me about it.

"Sure enough it started working after about an hour or so of driving. Specifically, I drove for about an hour without any action from the odometer, then shut it down for about 5-6 hours, then started another drive and it was working immediately upon starting out."  C.S., Raynham, MA

Thanks go to Martin Uden of Australia for submitting the below info:
"Read your page regarding odo repairs and I have good experience in repairing most electronic VDO units of this type that use the 25t gear.  They are found on Nissan Ford and Holden (GM) cars here in Australia and I also get the situation occasionally where the odo won’t work after changing the gear.  What I do to fix it (99% of the time this works) is to reassemble the instruments into the car without putting on the plastic front so that I can get to the odo digits.  I have a 3/16th inch thick length of plastic (so as not to harm the dials) that I have sharpened as you would a pencil and whilst the vehicle is moving, I physically “attack” the odo 1st number on its gear cog
(odo, not the trip), gently pushing it back and forth until it begins working. Then of course you can remove the instrument housing and put it back together properly.  Usual disclaimer of course regarding fiddling whilst you drive is not legal!!  Hoping that may help the more impatient Volvo owner."

And one customer found his odometer suddenly begain working again 15,000 miles after his gear replacement!

Latest mystery fix email:

"Speedo now works after advice from others on making sure the
4-prong connector on the upper right was seated properly with the pins going into the 4 little boxes. I then followed your tip and physically pushed the odometer numbers
with a nylon bolt sharpened at the end while running it and after about 6 tries of wiggling the digits back and forth the odo and trip sprang to life! You should really add the info on the 4 prong connector. Thanks."

And sure enough, there are occasionally some odometers that don't seem to return to life as one would hope.  Some of these might be a result of bad electronics, such as a bad motor or other component on a circuit board.  I know of a few that were found to be caused by a loose connection of the small electrical contacts inside the plug on the back of the speedo. After tweaking the contacts to get a better grip, things began working again.  And a few others were thought to be very small cracks in solder joints (there are three) for the odometer motor on the circuit board.  If you suspect a cracked solder joint, you might try re-soldering those joints if you have the tools for that.  Otherwise, I'm afraid at this point I seems to have run out of answers, except what I might do if unable to make things work . . . such as searching for another used speedometer.

And finally, here is a useful discussion thread on this subject: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=299341

Here's a customer who replaced his Speedometer Motor after breaking the Speedo Needle Shaft
"It CAN be done! I just replaced my speedometer motor and needle shaft independently of the odometer. I am the guy who had the metal shaft of the speedometer needle motor shear while trying to turn it backwards like the write up says to. Unable to repair it, I ordered the cheapest matching cluster I could find on eBay. The replacement cluster I bought "as is" arrived and had a bad speedometer and odometer. I was pretty sad until I remembered the only thing wrong with mine was the speedometer needle shaft. Other than that, mine worked great.  So I removed the speedometer from the "as is" unit, pulled straight up on the center round part of the needle (seemed the least likely way to break it) and it popped off without a fuss.  Proceeded to break it down with gauge face off and side odometer motor off. Stared closely at it until I noticed 2 screws opposite the odometer motor side. Loosened them up.  If you look closely there are four clear press tabs in the clear plastic housing for the speedometer motor. I used a small standard screwdriver and pressed them in and the motor was released, (this motor was bad on my new gauge cluster - weird) enabling me to swap the good parts from the bad unit to replace the bad parts on my good unit!  Took it for a test drive and it works. Although I essentially paid 130 bucks for just a speedometer motor and needle, I still feel great knowing I can still watch my slug climb closer and closer to the million mile mark every day. This info can be added to the knowledge base in your site if you want. I'm sure someone would benefit from knowing your whole cluster isn't junk from a broken speedometer shaft and it can be disassembled completely fairly easy.



Authorized Dealer  -  OdometerGears.com

I offer the following gears for sale.

New small 25 tooth gear (240 1986-91 ALL, and most 1992-93)
New small 26 tooth gear (240 some 1992-93 only)
*NOTE: CLICK HERE for for info regarding 1992-93 240.





New 15 Tooth Odometer Gear Pod for ALL 1986-93 240 Speedo

The original Volvo gear pod was made in two parts (the pod disc and 15T gear used to be separate pieces). This new pod is made as one piece which ensures a stronger part.




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Questions regarding a 25 or 26 Tooth Gear in a 1992-93 240
There are two different possible tooth count gears for the '92-'93 240. Most have a 25 tooth gear, although some have been found with a 26 tooth. So far as I know, the only way to tell for sure which one is in your '92-'93 240 is to open it up and count the teeth.  If you don't want to go to the trouble, you may just install a 25 tooth gear. It will fit ALL units. Even if it turns out to be the wrong one, everything will still work just fine, but the odometer will be off by about 3% (less than 2 mph at 60).




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